Channel 5 is to offer viewers a Home and Away branded mobile phone as part of marketing plans for the return of the popular soap to TV in the UK next month.
Channel 5 is hoping that Home and Away, broadcast on ITV until last year, will attract new viewers to the channel.
The mobile phone, which will be shaped like a boogie board, will also have a Home and Away ring tone and will be advertised on the channel for &£49.99.
The promotion forms part of a multi-layered marketing campaign, which will also be used as a data capture exercise by the channel so it can establish a running dialogue with viewers.
David Bainbridge, head of marketing for Channel 5, says: “It will be the biggest marketing spend on any programme since the launch of Channel 5.”
Viewers will be encouraged to text message the channel to register as a member of the Home and Away fan club. Their details may then be used to send teaser text messages for forthcoming episodes of the soap as well as other programmes.
The channel is also moving its main evening news bulletin from 6pm to 7.30pm from July 16 to make way for Home and Away at 6pm. A newly created bulletin will run at 5.30pm.
Home and Away, sponsored by SCA Hygiene Products’ Bodyform brand, will start an hour of soap with Family Affairs occupying the second half hour.